5 Dream Summer Vacations For Families

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Image via j&j brusie photography

As I sit here at eight-months pregnant, planning our low-key summer family vacation for the upcoming week, I am at once happy with our decision to keep things simple and also dreaming for a time when we can go all out for our family trip.

I know that this time in our life, with little people and the million bags and the stroller and,”oh, honey, don't forget the favorite blanket”, is surely not forever. And while I treasure its beautiful chaos for what it is right now, it wouldn't hurt to take a little dream tour of some family summer vacations for someday down the road, right?

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Image via The Breakers Resort

The Breakers Resort

A family member actually got a job at this resort recently, and since I've heard about what an amazing place it is (“like a different world!”) and the fact that he just saw Jennifer Aniston there, I've been dreaming about splurging on a stay for the whole family. It's not cheap, mind you, but despite the glitz and glamour of this West Palm Beach, Florida, resort, they are dedicated to families. With everything from free room baby proofing to adjoining rooms to certified babysitters, this resort would be a dream come true.

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Image via Aulani Hawaii Resort & Spa

Disney's Aulani Hawaii Resort & Spa

Hawaii is hands down my #1 dream vacation destination. And although my husband is hesitant about taking our kids to Hawaii until they are, oh say, in their thirties, I think that an all-inclusive resort may take some of the load off of traveling with young children. This resort looks like an absolute dream, with everything from meeting Disney characters right on site, tons of amazing family experiences (like pool parties and movie nights), to incredible beach amenities, this would be an entire family's dream come true.

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Image via The Ritz-Carlton, St. Thomas

The Ritz-Carlton St. Thomas

I'm partial to staying in the country while traveling with young children (who wants to deal with all those long flight times?), and the St. Thomas area is a great choice for getting away, but not too far away. The Ritz-Carlton in St. Thomas is a luxury hotel, for sure, but it is also surprisingly kid friendly. Kids 12 and under stay for free, and it offers super cool kids' activities like scuba diving and sailing classes.

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Image via Atlantis.com

Atlantis Paradise Island

But then again, I may just consider leaving the country for a vacation experience like that of Atlantis Paradise Island. Not only is it intriguing because of the mystery of Atlantis, but this place is seriously cool. For one thing, it has a 14-acre Dolphin Bay, where the whole family can get involved in swimming with the dolphins in a major way. It has a snorkeling tour of the “lost” city of Atlantis and a water park that features incredible water slides–one that zooms you right down a Mayan pyramid. There's rock climbing and private cabanas and beaches and pools galore. And their kids program has everything from toddlers to teens covered. I've honestly never seen anything like it.

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Image via Homeaway.com

North Carolina Beach House

OK, so maybe a small part of the appeal of a North Carolina beach house is the fact that it reminds me of a Nicholas Sparks novel, but I've been eyeing up this North Carolina beach house rental as the perfect family getaway spot. I realize it's not all-inclusive, but it certainly looks a lot fancier and more comfortable than a hotel, and it's steps away from a beach and affordable enough to fit my entire family. Not too shabby!

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5 Dream Summer Vacations For Families

Chaunie Brusie is a writer, mom of four, and founder of The Stay Strong Mom, a community + gift box service for moms after loss. ... More

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